With beaches, ancient ruins, secluded monasteries, and wild mountain landscapes within easy reach, it can be hard to know where to spend your time in Paphos. But in three days you can cover a lot of ground with coastal cruises, tours of historical sites, and trips to Cyprus’ Troodos Mountains and Akamas Peninsula. Here’s how to do it.
Day 1: Beaches and Bays
The scenic coastline of west Cyprus is among Paphos’ biggest draws and is deserving of a full day’s exploration. You could head to the easy-to-reach beaches of Pachyammos, Vrisoudia, or Paphos Municipal Beach to soak up the Mediterranean rays for the day. But if you’re willing to venture a little farther afield with a half-day cruise, you’ll find even more spectacular stretches of sand such as Coral Bay, a crescent-shaped sweep of golden sand. For a more active experience, join a snorkeling or scuba diving tour that will allow you to take the plunge and observe firsthand the marine life beneath the Mediterranean’s surface.
That evening, hop in the driving seat of an all-terrain vehicle and venture out to Aphrodite’s Rock, the legendary birthplace of the Greek goddess of love and beauty. For a romantic experience, pack a picnic to enjoy at the site.
Day 2: Escape into Nature
Leave Pathos behind for a half-day or full-day tour out to the Akamas Peninsula on Cyprus’ northwestern tip. Forested hiking trails, beautiful beaches with loggerhead turtles, and the crystal-clear Blue Lagoon make it an attractive day-trip option for travelers based in Paphos. Road access is limited, so if you do want to explore, consider embarking on an ATV tour along the peninsula’s dirt tracks, or—for a more comfortable alternative—a guided cruise. You can also rent a boat and steer your own adventure.
Other popular day-trip options include guided tours to Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus, where you can cross the Green Line of divided Nicosia (the border between the Greek and Turkish halves of the city) and visit monasteries, abbeys, and castles in the Kyrenia Mountains. Upon return, head inland to the Ktima Paphos neighborhood for dinner in one of the atmospheric tavernas of the Turkish Quarter.
Day 3: Peer into the Past
Paphos is littered with historical gems, from medieval baths to centuries-old churches—though the city’s standout historical attraction is Kato Paphos Archaeological Park. Take a guided tour around this sprawling UNESCO World Heritage–listed site, viewing Roman villas with well-preserved ancient mosaics, and the Tombs of the Kings necropolis. If you’d prefer to explore independently, use a hop-on hop-off tour bus to travel efficiently between key historic sites, such as the Odeon amphitheater of Fabrica Hill and St. Paul’s Pillar, where St. Paul was said to have been whipped for spreading the word of Christianity.
Alternatively, take a day tour to the nearby Troodos Mountains. Here, scattered among the valleys are frescoed Byzantine monasteries and churches, quaint villages, and picturesque vineyards.
Back in Paphos, toast the end of your trip on a dinner cruise around the harbor that includes onboard entertainment and a fireworks display.